Removing Pine Needles from Carpeting

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 31, 2012)

If you celebrate Christmas, then you most likely trim (decorate) a Christmas tree. You might even decorate your home with Christmas wreaths and garlands. Many people choose to use real pine trees and trimmings to decorate for the holidays. If you are one of those people, the reasons for using real trees and decorations are very personal. Perhaps you enjoy the scent of pine, or maybe you realize that real trees and decorative items are recyclable and friendly to the environment, or even that real pine trimmings absorb carbon dioxide and other gases, emitting fresh oxygen.

Whatever your reasons are for using real pine trimmings, you've most likely encountered the problem of removing pine needles from your carpeting. Not only are pine needles difficult to get out from carpet fibers, the sap left behind often serves as an adhesive, making the task of removing the pine needles even more difficult. Instead of getting on your hands and knees and removing the needles one by one with tweezers, try these techniques for removing pine needles from your carpeting:

  • Sappy. To break up the sap in carpet fibers, apply a dry foam carpet shampoo and allow it to sit overnight. Use a stiff brush the next morning to dislodge the needles, and then vacuum them away.
  • Vacuum. Rent an industrial strength shop vac. The commercial models have more suction power than do standard home vacuums and will shortly have all of the pine needles gone from your carpeting.
  • Lint roller. Buy a furniture lint roller and roll it across your carpet from differing angles and directions.
  • Shellac or veneer. Before hanging natural pine garland or wreaths, spray them with a light veneer or shellac, encouraging the pine needles to stay in place rather than falling onto your floor.
  • Duct tape. If sap isn't the problem, and if your vacuum isn't powerful enough to extricate the needles, use super-sticky duct tape to pull them from the carpet. Wrap the duct tape around your hand—inside out—and then pat the carpeting and pull the needles from the fibers using the adhesive of the tape.

If you're reading this article prior to bringing a pine tree into your home, you can save yourself the extra cleanup time by simply covering the floor beneath your Christmas tree with a protective tree skirt. Tree skirts encircle the base of the tree at the trunk, covering the floor under the entire tree. Although made of fabric that will allow pine needles to wiggle through, you can back the tree skirt with plastic sheeting or lay down a layer of plastic garbage bags before laying the tree skirt. The idea is to have a protective layer between the pine needles and your carpeting.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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